Explore three fascinating countries by bike on this Balkan cycling adventure.

Get your legs moving on a Balkan cycling adventure from Dubrovnik to Sarajevo. Taking in stunning scenery on the coast and inland, this trip will take you riding through three fascinating countries – Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro. Tackle challenging climbs, scenic flats and a new rail trail following the now defunct Austro-Hungarian railway line, finishing in the intriguing, yet sobering, city of Sarajevo, with visits to Mostar and other picturesque towns on the way.


Start
Dubrovnik, Croatia
Finish
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Destinations
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro
Style
Original
Theme
Cycling
Code
ZMXY
Physical rating
Ages
Min 14
Group size
Min 1, Max 15

Why you'll love this trip

  • Cycle past some of the most inspiring natural landscapes in Europe, from stunning beaches to towering mountains.

  • Explore three fascinating countries by bike

  • Witness Mostar's famous bridge divers hurl themselves from the stones of a bridge that has spanned the river here for centuries

  • Sarajevo is one of the most scenically located cities in Europe. See the sights on a guided walking tour and learn about its recent history as a city under siege

Is this trip right for you?

  • To complete this trip it is important that you are both confident and competent in riding a bicycle.

  • While the cycling distances on this trip are relatively short (the longest ride is only 50 kilometres) the terrain of the Balkans is naturally hilly and the climate often warm. You’ll need a reasonable level of fitness to enjoy the trip, but remember we will always have the support vehicle on hand if you need to take a break for an hour or a day.

  • As our riding is done mostly on sealed roads with the occasional gravel cycle path there are no technical cycling skills required. Given there will be hills, we do suggest practicing riding downhill so you are comfortable with this once the trips begins.

  • There’s the possibility of a few hiccups along the way, a puncture here and there, but there’s no doubt this is an incredibly rewarding adventure.

  • As there are cobblestones and many stairs in most European towns, and space in our support van is limited, it's strongly recommended that you leave any wheelie bags/cases at home and bring a backpack instead.

  • You'll be spending your nights in hotels at each step on this tour, ranging from comfortable to basic levels, but always authentic and a great opportunity to interact with the locals and fellow travellers alike. Hotels in Europe often don't have double beds, but rather two single beds that can be pushed together.

  • The weather in this region can vary depending on the season. Be prepared to get sweaty and for the occasional rainstorm, which may require a change of plans.

Itinerary

Welcome to Croatia and Dubrovnik, a traveller's favourite that has exploded in popularity since Game of Thrones took over the world. The group doesn't spend a lot of time here, so we recommend arriving early to experience this incredibly beautiful city. Meet your group at 6 pm then perhaps go out for an optional dinner together (hot tip: Old Town's gelato is phenomenal).
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
This morning you'll have your bike fitted before transporting from Dubrovnik into Montenegro to avoid the hectic traffic outside the city. Stop in Cavtat, a beautiful coastal town south of Dubrovnik, then continue over the border to Herceg Novi where you'll start cycling. Follow the Bay of Kotor for approximately 45 kilometres before arriving in the town of Kotor itself. Located on the shore of the Adriatic, Kotor is a 5th-century World Heritage-listed city boasting a spectacular location between a beautiful bay and imposing mountains. Its medieval Old Town features winding cobblestone lanes, historic buildings and buzzing nightlife.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Depart Kotor this morning by vehicle, heading north to scenic Slansko Lake and Kuside. Start riding here, passing nearby Niksic and heading up into the hills toward the incredible Ostrong Monastery, a white-washed building built into a cliff that's the most important site in Montenegro for Orthodox Christians. It's well worth the sweat and effort required to reach this gravity-defying icon, resting some 900 metres above the Zeta Valley. Enjoy an eight(ish) kilometre descent then ride back to Niksic, where you'll spend the evening. Founded in the 4th century, Niksic is the country's second-largest city and has plenty of options when it comes to an evening meal and entertainment.

Ride: approximately 55 kilometres, undulating terrain with a steep eight kilometre climb to the monastery. Approximately 1050 metres of elevation gain in total.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today you'll cycle approximately sixty kilometres from Niksic to Pluzine, a small town on the shore of the man-made Lake Piva. It's a hilly ride today, starting with a long but gradual climb then hitting undulating terrain. Ride through rolling, tree-lined hills with the support vehicle nearby in case you'd prefer to avoid the long climb. Visit the 16th-century Piva Monastery and its museum that contains, among other things, a psalm from the Crnojevici printing press, the first printing press in the Balkans (circa 15th century). Enjoy a picnic by Lake Piva then continue to Pluzine, a small, beautiful town in which to relax and rest those legs.

Ride: approximately 60 kilometres with a long but gradual climb for the first 25. Elevation gain is approximately 1070 metres.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today is a shorter ride than yesterday and you'll be cycling through Bosnia and Herzegovina for the first time. Depart Pluzine and drive approximately 150 kilometres to the old trading town of Nevesinje. From here, enjoy a predominantly downhill ride to the utterly charming town of Mostar, a distance of 40 kilometres or so. Mostar is best known for its iconic Stari Most (Old Bridge), from which both tourists and locals dive into the River Neretva. This is a tradition for local boys, who are said to have a lifetime of bad luck if they do not complete the jump in order to become a man. It's a beautiful spot to kick back by the river, enjoy a Turkish coffee and watch the divers and the world go by.

Ride: approximately 40 kilometres, mostly downhill with 310 metres of elevation gain.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Prepare for a real treat riding a section of the Ciro Trail, a new trail trail that follows an old Austro-Hungarian railway track running from Dubrovnik to Mostar. Stretching more than 160 kilometres, this well-maintained track traverses some truly wild, spectacular landscapes while winding through long-abandoned villages. It's touted as an 'open-air museum', and was partly funded by the EU in the hope of injecting some tourist dollars into the local economy. You'll ride approximately 50 kilometres of the trail before returning to Mostar for the evening, where you can continue exploring the alleys, bars and restaurants in search of a hidden gem.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Start the day with an approximately 120 kilometre drive north towards Sarajevo, the intriguing capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Sarajevo hosted the 1984 Winter Olympics and you'll begin cycling among thick pine forests of Igman, the site for several events including the ski jump. More importantly, Igman was the only lifeline into Sarajevo during its thousand-day blockade during the Bosnian War in the early 1990s. Weather permitting, the group will take the same route over Igman into Sarajevo as many Sarajevans did. The views are phenomenal on a clear day. On arrival, your leader will take you on an orientation walk of this fascinating city before an optional farewell dinner with your group.

Ride: approximately 30 kilometres. Mostly downhill with approximately 200 metres of elevation gain.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Your Balkan cycling adventure comes to an end today. There are no planned activities or rides, so you're free to depart anytime before noon.
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.

Meals

6 breakfasts

Transport

Bicycle, Support vehicle (e-bike option available)

Accommodation

Hotel (6 nights), Guesthouse (1 night)

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. A Single Supplement is available on this trip, please ask your booking agent for more information.
2. Bicycle hire is included in your trip price. Please advise your height at time of booking so as we can organise a suitable sized bike.
3. Bike helmets are compulsory on this trip. We are unable to hire bike helmets locally so please ensure you bring your own bike helmet from home.
4. An e-bike option (at additional cost) is available on this trip - please ask your agent for more details.
5. This a new trip for 2019. While we have thoroughly researched every detail of the itinerary we sometimes find it's necessary to make small changes after the first few trips have run. Changes are always based on feedback from past travellers and our ground staff. For Cycling trips these changes are usually around finding even better roads to ride on, which can alter the distance/time we spend riding on a day to day basis, but can sometimes even extend to accommodation or included activities if needed.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.